YOU ARE HERE: LAT HomeCollections

Los Angeles

2 Slain, 6 Hurt After Party

February 15, 2004|Hector Becerra | Times Staff Writer

Two men were killed and six people were wounded Saturday in two shootings connected to a South Los Angeles Valentine's Day party, police said.

Jorge Lua, 24, and Eric Daniel Arzola, 23, both suspected Los Angeles gang members, were killed 10 hours apart outside a bar in the 1300 block of West Manchester Avenue, said LAPD Det. Rudy Lemos.

Lua was shot with six others, including two women, about 1:20 a.m. as rival gang members traded gunfire, he said.

Both had been at a party at the bar attended by more than 80 people, mostly in their teens and early 20s, from as far as Riverside and San Bernardino counties.

In the scramble to escape, several people left their parked cars behind.

Arzola was fatally shot shortly before noon, police said, when officers dropped him off at his car about a block from the bar after interviewing him as a witness.

"Officers offered him pro- tection while he got in his car and took off," Lt. James West said.

Instead, Arzola "was irate and used a lot of profanities against the detectives and officers. He chose not to take the protection."

Minutes later, West said, police got a call about gunfire, and found Arzola shot.

Said Lemos: "They probably knew where his car was parked, and they were just waiting for this guy to come back and pick up his car. These young gangsters, they're like little rattlesnakes when they're ready to strike."

During the argument and shooting early Saturday, the names of several gangs were yelled out, police said.

"Among the crowd there were factions of different gangs, some of them mortal enemies," Lemos said.

"Something escalated, and they started shooting each other."

Lua was shot in the stomach as he sat in his car, Lemos said. Wounds to the surviving victims were not considered life-threatening, he added.

A 19-year-old gang member shot in the right hand and hip was arrested in the shooting, Lemos said.

Police recovered several handguns, including a .357 Magnum and a revolver, he said, and are working on identifying the other suspects.

Los Angeles Times Articles